Disaster Management 101
THE SOURCE: “Our Responder in Chief” by Patrick S. Roberts, in National Affairs, Fall 2010.
When Hurricane Katrina pummeled New Orleans in 2005, Americans looked to the White House to handle the crisis. Not long ago this would have seemed odd. Only in the last 60 years, with the advent of executive agencies responsible for national security, has the president become the go-to official for disaster response. Patrick S. Roberts, an assistant professor of public administration at Virginia Tech, warns that the “fixation on the White House badly distorts the way America thinks about and prepares for major disasters.”